In the past three years, the seizure of narcotics transported from Latin America to West Africa has gone down, according to figures from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, or UNODC. In 2007, 15 tons passed through Central and West Africa, but only 5.5 tons were counted in 2008. That does not mean there has been a victory against illicit trafficking. Instead, it indicates traffickers are getting more sophisticated.
“There has just been a repositioning of the criminal groups — they have changed their way of operating,” Cyriaque Sobtafo, deputy regional representative of the UNODC in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, told the BBC. Traffickers are using new entry points and shipping larger quantities of cocaine. In June 2010, 2 tons of cocaine were found in a warehouse in Gambia.
There also are indications that Nigerian criminal networks, which disperse the drugs once in Africa, are working directly with the drug producers in Latin America, the BBC reported.